Top 100 albums of the decade

End of a decade – it’s perhaps going to get overlooked somewhat, but this is the last year of the 2000s (“noughties”?). And it’s been quite a decade in all sorts of ways. Personally, I had my 18th birthday in 2000, so it’s been a decade in which much has changed. Musically, while styles have come and gone, the way in which music is distributed, publicised and listened to has been – and for once I think this term is not hyperbolic – revolutionised.

So, at the end of this year, I’m going to compile a Top 100 albums of the decade. Not “the” Top 100, just “a” Top 100. My Top 100. The exercise has its limits, of course: I’m sure there will be 100 albums I would have liked even more had I heard them; and I’m sure there will be 100 albums any reader will consider more worthy of inclusion. But for what little it’s worth I’m going to try to balance my taste with a dash of objectivity and produce a list that might hopefully have a bit of credibility to it.

I mention this now to invite others to think about doing the same: it needs thought, and I’ve already started an Excel spreadsheet. But it would be nice to read others’ reflections, not least as I’m an abiding fan of albums as a way of presenting music, and by 2019 we may not have them at all.

Some rules I’ll be sticking to, but others needn’t: only one album per artist unless there’s a really really good case for including a second (if that artist has really produced two completely different, incomparable albums in totally different genres, fair enough – but otherwise, grow a pair and make a choice); no cheating by including albums release in one territory in 1999 and then elsewhere in 2000; er… that’s it, probably. Of course, it must be an album, released as an album (even if only self-released by the artist) and merit inclusion because it works as an album, not because it just has a few brilliant tracks on it or is by an important or favourite artist. I’ve whittled the list down considerably by that logic alone.

So, music geeks – you’ve got six months. Off you go!

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4 comments

  1. One of the interesting aspects of this exercise for me is observing how my tastes have changed (and expanded). It’s an opportunity to highlight lots of records I either missed or underestimated at the time, and to concede defeat on the ones I wildly overrated!

    I could include all the releases of the decade from certain artists so I’ll have to find some criteria for restraint.

  2. I suspect your list will make mine look very parochial!

    On mini-albums… I guess as long as it’s not clearly an EP it’s fine, so the Calexico / Iron and Wine one is definitely OK (and very likely to be on my list too).

    The one album per artist thing is as much as anything to stop me including four HMHB albums, three Sleater-Kinney ones etc. I can think of three artists likely to have two or more albums on mine (four if you count Calexico, actually), but the “second” records are either strikingly different or collaborations with others.

  3. I have an Excel spreadsheet of numerous possible contenders. Editing it down poses an interesting challenge!

    When you say ‘it must be an album’ what’s your position on mini-albums? The Calexico/Iron and Wine collaboration is one I keep coming back to for example.

    I admire your one album per artist rule but I’m not sure I’ll be able to stick to it!

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